It’s a city that never complained of water shortage. Turn the pages of history, and you will know that Bengaluru had an enviable number of water bodies – both lakes and tanks. Over a 100 lakes were built and developed by the founder of Bengaluru, Kempe Gowda, and his successors in the 16th century. Later the Wodeyars of Mysore and the British took forward the development of lakes. Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts had over 1545 lakes and 2000 watering holes for domestic animals and other smaller waterbodies. The total spread of these water bodies was over 3000 acres. But with passage of time the numbers of lakes have dwindled. Many of these are excessively polluted and are on the verge of becoming acidic and unusable. Though the city’s water needs are met by the Cauvery River supply, lakes form an integral part of our biodiversity. Most of the lakes have vanished due to encroachment and construction activity for urban infrastructure expansion. The city once had 280-285 lakes of which 7 cannot be traced, 7 are reduced to small pools of water, 18 have been impinged by slums and private parties, 14 have dried up and are leased out by the Government. 28 lakes have been used by the Bangalore Development Authority to build extensions for residential areas. The remaining meagre number of lakes is in fairly advanced state of deterioration.